Gewürztraminer (Roter Traminer)
(6% of total cultivation area)
The bouquet variety Traminer is one of our national heritages` oldest grapevines. Almost certainly the result of a spontaneous crossing of wild, uncultivated vines, supposedly originating from Egypt or ancient Greece. Named after Tramin in southern Tirol and known under its` official EU synonym for “Roter Traminer”- Gewürztraminer.
The cultivation area in Germany, where Gewuerztraminer has been documented since 1546, is ca. 850 hectares. In Austria 350 hectares, Alsace 2,700 hectares and Italy (particularly in south Tirol) almost 500 hectares. It can also be found in the Czech Republic, Rumania and other south European countries as well as Australia (600 hectares) and South Africa (300 hectares). Gewürztraminer stocks an area of 8,000 hectares worldwide.
Characteristics and requirements:
The Gewürztraminer belongs to the later ripening varieties with pink, small to medium sized berries, growing in a compact manner. It places a high demand on its` site needing warmth, rich fertility and shelter from winds particularly when coming into blossom, in order to guarantee a reliable yield. Obviously easier said than done, particularly when prone to poor fruit set, viral disease and Chlorosis. However, fungal infection presents little problem. Yields must be kept low in order to achieve the necessary high extracts which determine its` character (<50 hectolitre/hectare). Minimum must weights of 80° Oechsle are necessary for the bouquet and often achieved on lighter, rather than on heavy soils.
The wine itself:
Gewürztraminer wines are spicy, aromatic and have a floral perfume. High quality noble sweet wines produced from over ripe grapes delight with notes of honey, raisins and caramel. They tend to be full bodied yet light on acidity (<5.5 /l) and spicy on the palate.